Spring Lessons: Wide receivers

Georgia spring practice concluded with its annual G-Day game. Here is a look at the Wide receivers:

Fred Gibson showed how much better he is than the rest of the receivers in the 2004 G-Day game. He also showed the amount of potential that he still has to fulfill before his final season at Georgia is over.

Will that transfer over to a big 2004? It will, according to Gibson, if he can stay healthy. Quarterback David Greene said that injuries really effected Gibson last season. Gibson's stated goal is that Georgia go undefeated in 2004. He will go a long way in determining if that happens.

Reggie Brown missed all contact this spring as he was sidelined with an injury. Brown spent a lot of his time helping wide receivers coach John Eason teach newcomer A.J. Bryant the ins and outs of all things receiver. Brown will be looked to more than ever in 2004. He will do Georgia no good on the sideline. It's hard to gauge how he is coming along, however, because of his limited role this spring.

Bryan McClendon got a lot of praise from Mark Richt as did Sean Bailey this spring. They both really looked good during drills. McClendon had a great touchdown grab late in the game. Another wide receiver standout this spring was T.J. Gartrell. He improved his stock in terms of playing time and he might give Richt a chance to spread the field with numerous wide receivers in 2004.

Tyson Browning also moved to wide receiver for the spring but was injured early on and did not participate for much of practice. He will rotate back and forth between running back and wide receiver in the fall. He will be a change up; switching from running back to receiver before the snap of the ball.

Mario Railey and Cedric Haywood, like Brown, missed most of the spring with injuries. Both have the potential to contribute big numbers in 2004 but its hard to know where they are right now because of their injured status.

However, the wide receiver story of the spring was Bryant's move from quarterback to receiver. Bryant was not handling quarterback very well and is too good of an athlete to sit on the bench; he can play right now. Richt said as much, so look for the Peach County star to get some time on the field in 2004. Richt said that he would be disappointed if Bryant didn't play.

Key to this position:

Can this group stay away from the injury bug in 2004? (They aren't getting off to a good start)

Depth chart shuffle:

Bryant and Browning were added to the list and McClendon and Gartrell earned more playing time for this fall.

2004 Prediction:

If Gibson can stay healthy look for him to have a very big year as Greene's favorite target; Look for Haywood to be a surprise if he can heal properly; Bryant will play for sure in 2004.

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